A SEAFARING South Tynesider ‘tugged’ at the heartstrings of his future wife – setting a course for a milestone marriage.
Raymond and Maureen Nichols, from Hutton Road, Westoe, South Shields, are toasting 50 years of wedded bliss today.
Mr Nichols, 68, was a tugboat worker on the River Tyne when he had his first encounter with Maureen, 70, who was a machinist at John Colliers in South Shields.
Mrs Nichols said: “I was friends with a girl and Raymond was friends with her brother.
“I had gone to see my friend as we were going out for the night and Raymond was there. I had rollers in my hair at the time.
“I just fancied him.”
“All my friends thought he was a Norwegian sailor, due to his blonde hair. He worked on the tugboats on the River Tyne.”
Raymond was a member of the tugboat fraternity for a decade before spending another 14 years working as a docker on the Tyne Dock.
The happy couple were engaged for a year before tying the knot at St Peter’s Church in South Shields in 1963.
The couple toasted their milestone anniversary with their family, two sons, daughter, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
She says the secret to a long and happy marriage is simple – a mix of love and perseverance.
She added: “I think the secret is perseverance. I never believe people when they say they never argue.
“We have arguments, but we always move on from them, and don’t stay mad at each other.”